Tag Archives: Publishing

Trashing comments on blogs: A form of censorship?

I need some feedback fellow bloggers.  In my journalism class, we use a blog hosted by a local newspaper to publish student produced journalism stories.  Our professor, who is a former journalist herself, is the mediator and administrator for this site.  As such, she uses in the same way she would if it were a print article being published in a newspaper.  Yet it is on a blog. So we receive comments.

Some are quite colorful. 

We received one this week that was more of a rant, and it was hardly constructive.  Likely it was also filled with half truths.

Our professor posed the question:  Should this comment be approved for the entire readership to see?

We debated this for most of the class period.  There are two schools of thought in this sharp divide:

One group feels we should approve the comment.  It is a blog after all and blogs are intended to foster open dialogue and everyone is allowed to their opinion.   Since the blog was free of obscenities or profanity – put it out there.  If you start deleting comments, then you are only publishing comments that share your perspective.  By doing so, you are shaping the topic in your own way and this a form of censorship.  Even though we use it for journalistic learning it is a blog and we should allow all perspectives to enter into the dialogue.  Even if we may think it the comment is absurd. 

The second group feels that we should maintain the integrity of our journalistic endeavors.  Since we will not be investing our time to investigate any of the accusations in the comment we cannot ethically publish them.  We should not give an audience to this type of authorship.  A newspaper does not publish every letter to the editor, and we shall run this blog in the same discriminating spirit.  This comment may invite another and it may run away from us in an acerbic dialogue that will take away the value and the good writing of the original piece.

Before I reveal my thoughts on the matter, tell me which side of the fence do you fall on?

 Image taken from:  Google Images, Censorship

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Filed under adult education, Alicia Legg, Continuing Education, No Adult Left Behind

Elaine Houston Arrives

Elaine Houston made an appointment to come to my house last Wednesday. I can’t believe it was only one week ago today. She is prettier in person and taller too. It was so intimidating to have her right here in my computer room. She had a really nice fellow who was her camera man to shoot the interview. I have a new respect for the job of a camera man, seeing as I still fumble through the most basic of tasks with camera equipment. I watched him in awe that he could handle this equipment with a grace that I will never possess.

Even though I spent the rest of the afternoon wishing I had answered some of the questions differently, the interview all and all was exciting. I mean, I got to meet Elaine Houston. Too cool. Elaine sent a different camera crew to my school that night to take some “b – roll” which is some background footage that will roll when Elaine is narrating the story. I didn’t know this ahead of time. I must be a serious disappointment to my professor.  My professor was really cool about all of this and had not problem letting the camera crew in his class to do this. As coincidence would have it, my professor worked with these guys for most of his career. It was like a reunion for them. All of it was a really great experience. It was an honor to be featured on their news program.

It is my deep unyielding hope that some publisher or literary agent will come across this and decide (as I did many years ago) that the world simply cannot live another day without my book. I believe in the book, and I believe in the need for it. I hope others will one day too.

If you have ever been on TV, then you may know the horror of seeing yourself. Wishing that you said something differently, becoming annoyed with the fact that all of your “cute” idiosyncrasies were, in fact captured on camera for the world to see and really aren’t all that cute. Despite all of this, WNYT did an amazing job of editing and pulling it all together.

Here’s the clip: http://wnyt.com/article/stories/S1589779.shtml?cat=11883

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Filed under adult education, No Adult Left Behind